Gravity of Misconduct

I feel kind of dumb for not realizing there was a website that reported findings of research misconduct. As a teacher of composition, I have my students write a research paper each semester—a paper that, for many of my students, is their first go at research-writing. That being said, when teaching I must be cognizant of the fact that, even with their best of intentions, they might be accidentally contributing to academic misconduct.  That being said, I actually think this website might prove helpful in teaching them what to watch out for and what the repercussions could be for intentionally/unintentionally screwing up the work they report.

Honestly, I’m actually surprised to see so few cases on this website. Of course, more people falsify their work than just the names reported here, and I’d imagine that the majority of people do so unknowingly, or stretch the truth of their findings without realizing the gravity of their actions. (Perhaps this is true, perhaps I’m choosing to remain blindly naive.) Some of the misconduct reported in these cases, though, are so bizarrely extensive that I wonder A.) how aware these researchers were of what they were doing, and B.) how much of their former work has issues as well.

The case of Krishna H.m. Murthy, for example, lists literally dozens of instances of falsified and/or fabricated research—actions for which the respondent received repercussions that included a ten-year debarment and a ten-year ban on PHS advisory services in addition to a correction on their research record. Doing further research on this scandal, I learned that this person still holds to the claim that they did not commit any misconduct. While this claim, of course, cannot be trusted, it makes me wonder about the greater context beyond these single cases. What’s encouraging these researchers to falsify their information? How well are students being taught about academic misconduct? About its gravity? Its repercussions? Its avoidance?